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Boleto: A Novel Hardcover – May 8, 2012
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“Good stories teach us how to read them, and the opening pages of Boleto are entertaining, entrancing teachers. . . . Hagy often dazzles with her descriptions of the Wyoming landscape and wildlife. Whether its the corral of the Testerman ranch, the rugged passes of the Black Bell Ranch or the depressed outskirts of Anaheim, the settings glimmer with well-chosen metaphors.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“[Hagy] provides an unsentimental portrait of modern-day cowboys. . . . She details each twitch of Boleto's ears in language both acute and lyrical.” ―The New Yorker
“You come to Boleto as you would to a ranch or a polo match, for the horses. . . . Will [Testerman] ultimately learns that the pure connection between a cowboy and a horse has no corollary in the world of double-dealing humans. . . . This final discovery is surprisingly touching and bittersweet.” ―Wall Street Journal
“[A] beautiful tale of redemption and perseverance. . . . In measured, textured prose, Hagy finesses the nuances of equestrian life, from the knowing twitch of the filly's ears to Will naming his horse 'Boleto' ('ticket'), signifying his hoped for success. Joining such resonant talents as Annie Proulx and Kent Haruf, Hagy is fast becoming a recognizable author of the American West.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“In her gift for the language of horses, as in the beauty of her prose, Hagy will inevitably recall Annie Proulx, Kent Haruf and Cormac McCarthy. But she is writing as much about wealth and class, about work and privilege, as about horses and the Western landscape.” ―Washington Post
“Like many of hte great writers of the West, Alyson Hagy's writing is spare and eloquent. . . . The sweep of the story is reminiscent of artwork, and its solemnity has a nearly religiousintensity. ” ―Daniel Goldin, Boswell Books, NPR.org
About the Author
Alyson Hagy is the author of Ghosts of Wyoming and Snow, Ashes. Ghosts of Wyoming won the High Plains Book Award for Fiction. She lives in Laramie, Wyoming.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The youngest son of a small-time rancher and a school teacher mother, twenty-three year old Will Testerman wanted more than the life into which he was born. His mother, to whom Will is particularly close, has always encouraged him to think of and imagine life beyond their small town. A cancer survivor, she never tries to discourage Will's desire to leave.
Will, however, feels he has disappointed his father. His oldest brother is college graduate and successful in his career; his other brother is content remaining on the family ranch. Horses were to be Will's way out and the ticket to his future. To that end, Will purchases the blood-red filly - foal of Sally's Quick Ticket, a prize-winning Quarter Horse - for twelve hundred dollars.
Will moves to California to the estancia of Don Enrique, a wealthy Argentinian who, at a horse auction, casually offered Will a job. Don Enrique is involved in the world of polo. Will intends to learn how to develop polo ponies; he then plans to train and sell the filly whom he calls "Tick" - short for "Ticket," her dam's name - as a polo pony. A call from his mother changes Will's future.Read more ›
I read the hardback print edition. To my ear and eye, it rang true of modern day cowboy life.
Alyson Hagy has crafted a story that sucks the reader in with no effort, a story that has no huge impetus about an ordinary - but highly intelligent - young man who is extraordinarily good with horses. Will Testerman is home again in Montana after a social sidestep caused him more trouble than it was worth at his job on a ranch in Texas. The trouble here is, there's not enough revenue generated on the home ranch to support the entire family, and it's clear his older brother would appreciate it if Will left the ranching to him. Will's father doesn't appear to be overjoyed that Will is back, either; and his mother, while supportive of him, is going through trials of her own, and would like to see him succeed somewhere and be happy.
So Will uses his nest egg to purchase a filly on another ranch in whom he sees great potential as, of all things, a polo pony. She's green, though, and needs to be trained from the bottom up. Will is competent to the task, however, and brings her home to start her training, with the expectation of accepting a further job on a dude ranch a ways away from home. Eventually, he even gets to California, at the invitation of a South American mogul who owns a polo pony ranch, someone who was impressed with Will's style at a rodeo.
The spare, beautiful prose that builds this story is a joy to read. Descriptions of weather, of people, and of Will's patient, quiet way of training the filly (never named, and only referred to as Ticket, a shortened reference to her mother) into a fully-working quarter horse (and later, a polo pony) flows across the pages with ease.Read more ›
I do think that the author is a beautiful writer. Some of the passages were breathtaking and absorbing. I don't know what happened with this book. It seems as though in the process of writing or editing, either the author or the editor or both were distracted at the final draft and the book lost its ability to maintain reader interest. I'm sorry I'm rating this so low.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautifully written, however there were some very clear errors with regards to some of the horse information. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Miss Liz
I haven't finished the book yet but am about halfway through. I decided to come see what other people had said about the book. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Kenya
Read Alyson Hagy's Boleto and find yourself in the hands of a modern master. She has worked her art with such discipline the words come to us fluid and with the grace and ease... Read morePublished on November 10, 2013 by Shann Ray
This is a beautifully written novel. The author tells a tale in an economy of words. She paints the scenes so well, you are there. "She was a swivel of a girl..... Read morePublished on July 21, 2013 by Sadie
Lovely, fluid language. Well developed protagonist. A sad, intriguing story of horses and love and commitment. A pleasure to read.Published on July 6, 2013 by shmurtha
I, also, was very disappointed in this book. It is more of a character study than anything else and it seems the horse part is secondary to the author's message. Read morePublished on March 6, 2013 by Jojo Trox
I liked the book, but it was not what I expected. I thought it would be more about the relationship between Will and the horse, instead it was just a coming of age story that... Read morePublished on January 20, 2013 by Tulips
I know from reading Alyson Hagy in the past--following her developing career, in fact--that her books are not to be missed. Read morePublished on November 13, 2012 by Anastasia Hobbet